52 in 52 Week 13: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
It delights me to see it passing up the more "pop" books that we have seen over the last few years. I only read one of those "pop" books for a book club review a few years back, and I thought it was very poorly written (I hear that they get better as they go on, but I didn't like the message either). The Hunger Games books are well-written and have a great message. There are no witches, warlocks, or vampires in sight, and I like that very much!
I have always loved first person narratives. I don't know why that is. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites, and that is in the first person too. I know that this is no Jane Eyre, but it is a great, contemporary, dystopian novel. I am not going to tell you who that "voice" is because if you haven't read the first book, I don't want to spoil its conclusion, but here is that voice:
"In that one slight motion, I see the end of hope, the beginning of the destruction of everything I hold dear in the world. I can't guess what form my punishment will take, how wide the net will be cast, but when it is finished, there will most likely be nothing left. So you would think that at this moment, I would be in utter despair. Here's what's strange. The main thing I feel is a sense of relief. That I can give up this game. That the question of whether I can succeed in this venture has been answered, even if that answer is a resounding no. That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I am free to act as desperately as I wish." (p. 75)KICK IT! Love that paragraph. :) I'm rooting for you. Throw caution to the wind:
Collins says that the inspiration to write The Hunger Games came from channel surfing on television. On one channel she observed people competing on a reality show and on another she saw footage of the invasion of Iraq. The two "began to blur in this very unsettling way" and the idea for the book was formed. The Greek myth of Theseus served as basis for the story, with Collins describing Katniss as a futuristic Theseus, and that Roman gladiatorial games formed the framework. The sense of loss that Collins developed through her father's service in the Vietnam War also affected the story, whose heroine lost her father at age eleven, five years before the story begins. Collins stated that the deaths of the young characters and other "dark passages" were the hardest parts of the book to write, but she had accepted she would be writing such scenes. She considered the moments where Katniss reflects on happier moments in her past to be the more enjoyable passages to write.
(By the way, I read this from a print book and did not listen to the audio book that is pictured)